How to Sue for a Workplace Accident
Accidents can happen to us anywhere. Whether we’re driving and get into a rear-end collision, are out for a walk, or trip on uneven pavement, there’s always a chance that we could get into an accident and get hurt. If you’re injured in an accident out on the road, the path that you take to file a lawsuit is pretty commonly understood; you call a police officer and file a report, call both parties' insurance companies, seek medical care, and contact your local motor vehicle accident attorney, etc., but what happens when you’re injured on the job? Who is held liable for the accident and who, if anyone, can you sue for your injuries?
Since the origination of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) in 1971, the standards for safety in workplaces have improved substantially. Workplace injuries are down from 10.9 accidents per 100 employees to 2.8 accidents per 100 employees, but they do still happen. Below, we’ll go over OSHA work-related injuries, what some of the most common types of injuries in the home and office are, and what to do if you’ve been injured on the job.
OSHA Work-Related Injuries
OSHA was created in 1971, following the Occupational Health and Safety Act of 1970. The intent of OSHA is to set standards for healthy and safe working conditions for employees and enforce said standards. They also provide information, training, and support to employees. OSHA work-related injuries and illnesses are defined as,
“Any work-related fatality. Any work-related injury or illness that results in loss of consciousness, days away from work, restricted work, or transfer to another job. Any work-related injury or illness requiring medical treatment beyond first aid. Any work-related diagnosed case of cancer, chronic irreversible diseases, fractured or cracked bones or teeth, and punctured eardrums.”
Common Types of Injuries in the Home and Office
Most of us spend the majority of our lives at home or at work and getting injured at either location is bound to happen at some point. Knowing what the most common injuries are at both locations can help to prevent some injuries. The most common home injuries are:
Slipping, falling, and tripping
Chemical and physical burns
Some workplace injury examples are:
Slipping, falling, and tripping
Getting struck by an object, machine, or another worker
Crashes and collisions
Exposure to harmful chemicals
Fires and/or explosions
Violence from a co-worker or an animal
In the workplace, there are also four types of injuries that are referred to as ‘the fatal four’ which are injuries that result in death. They are:
Being hit by a moving object or vehicle (a motor vehicle crash)
Slipping, tripping, or falling from tall heights
Getting stuck in between objects or machines
What to do After a Work-Related Injury
If you’re injured while working, there are things that you should do immediately following the accident and injury.
1. File an accident report.
File an accident report with the state in which you’re working and do so right away, as some states have very short time frames in which an accident can be reported
2. Document everything.
It’s important to write everything down after an accident and to continue documenting things in the following days and even months. You want to state what happened, when, where, who was involved, the action that was taken after, what your injuries were, and the medical team you consulted.
3. Get a comprehensive medical exam.
Speaking of the medical team you consult, make sure to get a comprehensive medical exam as soon as possible and make sure they know and document that your injuries happened on the job.
4. Follow your doctor’s orders.
Not only do you need to consult a doctor, but you also need to follow their plan of care. If they suggest seeing a chiropractor, physical therapist, or even having surgery, make sure that you do as they suggest. This will be especially important if you end up filing a lawsuit. If you don’t follow your care plan, your lawsuit has a lesser chance of being successful.
5. Find out your workers’ compensation eligibility.
Each state has its own laws regarding workers’ compensation insurance. Check with your state to find out what their requirements are and work with your HR department to see what their benefits are.
6. Consult a lawyer.
Finally, consult a lawyer. A personal injury attorney that specializes in workers’ compensation claims will be able to help you on your path to recovery and with filing claims and receiving compensation for your injuries.
If you’ve been injured on the job in the Tulsa area, contact the expert team at the Law Office of Jeff Martin and Associates today!